A Better Life, One Day at a Time
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
This is my year of habit changes. I decided I wouldn't start a new diet or begin journaling again. Instead, I would change my habits, trusting these new behaviors would snowball into a better quality of life.
Though it may not work for everyone, I like to give myself timeframes. A month is usually a perfect amount of time to stop or start a habit. You also get that rush of renewal that comes from new beginnings, and I need any inspiration I can get. I don't look beyond that month. I don't let myself get in over my head. I just dedicate myself to the decided time. I've grown too comfortable in my bad habits, and I am flush with hope they can be changed.
For instance, this month I'm skipping fast food. In the midst of crazy stress, I've been relying on foods that in no way make me feel good. I'm not cutting out food groups. It's not a diet. It's an attempt to be more mindful of how I'm treating myself and stop spending so much money on foods that don't taste even close to the quality of homemade. I'm also using this month to break up my love affair with desserts. I'm not cutting out sugar. I'm just stopping myself from grabbing a cookie instead of taking the time to eat something that will give me energy for the day. I've been eating fruit like a crazy lady ,so natural sugar and I are on great terms. I've spent too many years working through diets that lead to success, relapse, shame, and then binge eating. These new habits aren't about how I look. These habits are about enhancing my personal ability to enjoy each day.
I'm also adding in new habits. My son has needs beyond those of most children, and I've been feeling as if I'm letting him down. I'm so stressed and tired that I don't incorporate daily activities from which I know he would benefit. So, I'm giving myself new habits, new activities to try. I can keep them or start all over in a new month. I don't have to think about forever. I can explore new ways to do our everday every 30 days.
Life overwhelms me so often that peaceful times are special occassions. Every new habit I break or form affects my ability to open my eyes with energy and joy in the morning. God makes me enough, and I am working toward the life and the habits that will help me reach my full potential in Him.
So, I absolutely recommend looking at your habits and setting a date. Whether you are not sure you can make it two days or an entire month, the desire to change, positive action, and a little help from God are all you need to find the victory you're searching for. If you can dedicate just a few days to a better life, God will give you a glimpse of how good things can be. Let Him change you a day, a week, a month at a time.
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.